Frequently Asked Questions About Texas Criminal Defense
If this is your first encounter with the criminal justice system, you are likely scared and have a lot of questions. At Law Offices of Anthony B. Cantrell in San Antonio, we are committed to providing answers. Even if you have dealt with criminal accusations before, our law firm is here to help you.
On this page you will find answers to some frequently asked questions about Texas criminal charges. If you have more specific questions, feel free to call us at 210-888-9653 anytime.
What Should I Say When Police Ask Me Questions?
You do not have to answer police questions. If you have been accused of a crime, the answers you provide could be used against you. Even if the police say that you are not under suspicion, there is no reason to answer their questions and doing so could end up leading to problems later on.
You have the right to remain silent any time the police question you, not just when you are arrested. Police often say that they are simply trying to sort things out, or that they are on your side, but at the end of the day, their job is to make an arrest. Do not provide them with ammunition to use against you.
What If I Was Charged But Didn’t Commit A Crime?
False accusations are common, and all too often they lead to wrongful convictions. Do not count on the police or prosecutors to find the truth on their own. Do not think that you can simply explain what happened and they will believe you. Unfortunately, you will need to fight to prove your innocence and protect yourself from the penalties that would come with a criminal conviction. An experienced attorney can ensure that your voice is heard and the truth comes to light.
Do I Have Any Options If I Am Guilty Of The Crime I Was Accused Of?
Everyone makes mistakes. You’re certainly not the first person who was caught driving drunk or using drugs or stealing or doing something else that is against the law. That doesn’t mean that you should just plead guilty and accept your punishment, because the punishment does not always fit the crime. Penalties are often far too harsh. With the help of an experienced lawyer, you may be able to walk away with reduced penalties. You do not need to let this mistake ruin your life.
Was The Police Search Illegal?
Did police search your home or your car? There are rules that police have to follow when conducting a search, and they frequently overstep their bounds. They may conduct a search when they shouldn’t have. They may conduct a warrantless search. A criminal defense attorney can ascertain whether the search was illegal. If it was, it could lead to evidence being thrown out or your whole case being dismissed.
What Are The Penalties For Criminal Charges In Texas?
Penalties can vary dramatically, depending on the nature of the crime and whether it was a misdemeanor or felony. We believe that all criminal charges should be taken seriously, as even a conviction for relatively minor charges can leave you with a criminal record that could impact your employment and other aspects of your life. Click here for general information about Texas criminal penalties.
Is It Important To Hire a Texas Lawyer Who Specializes In Criminal Law?
The legal profession covers a vast expanse of information and procedures which differ in various areas. No one person can be familiar with all of those areas. If you are charged with a criminal offense, you don’t want an attorney who is trying to get up-to-speed in criminal law. Not only will it probably cost more for that attorney to spend the research time, but their representation will very likely be inferior to an attorney who practices in this area every day.
It is like asking a house painter to paint your portrait. He has the paint. He can get the tools, but the result probably won’t justify the fee. You are likely to receive far superior results from a lawyer who specializes in criminal law and is Board Certified in that area. When your life…your freedom…and your reputation are in jeopardy, you need the best lawyer you can find!
What Does It Mean To Be A Texas Board Certified Lawyer?
A Texas Board Certified lawyer is an attorney who has demonstrated special competence in a particular area of legal practice in which the Texas Board of Legal Specialization has certified their competence.
A Texas lawyer who is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization must have experience in the trial of serious criminal matters and the preparation of such cases for trial. They must have extensive knowledge of state and federal constitutional law, evidence, procedure, and penal laws involved in the trial of criminal cases.
A few of the requirements for an attorney to receive Board Certification in Criminal Law are:
- Handling a wide variety of criminal matters to demonstrate experience and involvement.
- Attending criminal law continuing legal education seminars regularly to keep their legal training up to date.
- Being evaluated by fellow lawyers and judges.
- Passing a day-long written examination.
Certification is for a period of 5 years. To remain certified after that time, every 5 years the attorney must apply for re-certification and meet the requirements for continued experience, peer review, and continuing legal education.
Can I Talk To An Attorney About My Criminal Charges?
Other Criminal Law Resources
- Info Centers
- Texas Penalties (PDF)